Futures Rehabilitation Center, Inc. Newsletter
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    Please see the attached article that was featured in the Bradford Era edition of February 15th.  The Transition Plus program is a cooperative program between the Bradford Area School District and Futures.  We are very proud of the successes of the students and pleased to share that with you.

Bill Leven
Futures Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
Era Reporter
r.bogdan @

    A new variation of a program for Bradford Area High School students through Futures Rehabilitation Inc. is teaching students valuable work skills at the best places possible: actual job sites.

    The Futures Transition Plus program provides students in tenth grade and older with "real-world experience" by giving them training in real jobs at businesses in Bradford, according to Marcia Copeland, community service coordinator at Futures.

    Holly Nodler, program director at Futures, said this year, 14 students from Bradford Area High School have been picked to take part in the program. Selected are students who want to work, but who have some extra barrier to overcome. Some are receiving special education or emotional support, for example.

    According to Copeland, the program developed when educators wondered how to best motivate students who have additional obstacles, and they have been pleased with the results. "The students feel they are part of society," she said.

    Futures had contacted businesses in the area searching for employers who would allow students to train there. "They have graciously let us bring the kids in along with a staff person," said Nodler. She explained that a staff person "works one-on-one with the students, teaching them skills at the job place."

    There are students being trained at the school district's transportation department, Metz Culinary Management at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Save-A-Lot, Family Video, the McKean County SPCA, the Bradford Area Public Library, Perkins, Bradford Regional Medical Center and even the cafe at Futures.

    In the program, students work alongside employees performing tasks such as serving food, changing the oil in buses or cleaning animal cages, depending on where they are placed, Nodler explained.

    While the students go through the program to learn how to be an employee later, some are eventually hired by the business.

    According to Nodler, Futures and the high school have worked together for several years on a similar program, but this school year is the first for Futures Transition Plus program.

    In the past, there was a component in which the students would learn some skills such as writing resumes and interviewing in a classroom setting, but the classroom component has been dropped and students learn right on the job site. Now most learn interviewing with their supervisors in a real-life setting, according to Copeland.

    Copeland and Nodler explained that, in addition to learning the jobs themselves, the students more importantly learn skills such as interacting with and being respectful to others, work etiquette such coming to work on time, keeping a positive attitude, following the rules and keeping one's appearance neat and tidy. They work a full shift, which usually lasts for four to eight hours.

    The program lasts from the first week in November to the end of May, said Nodler. Futures has one full-time and one part-time employee working with the program.

    Copeland explained that students also have the ability to try several places to get an idea of where their interests and abilities lie, and the partnering businesses provide a variety of job experiences for students to choose from.

    Copeland and Nodler have both been very pleased with the response from local businesses.

    "Everybody's just been wonderful accommodating us," said Copeland. "We really appreciate all the efforts that these agencies have put forth."
Copyright © 2014 Futures Rehabilitation Center, Inc., All rights reserved.

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